Drew Barrymore Opens Up On 'Being Under the Cloud' of Postpartum Depression

Pam WrightLife

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Drew Barrymore opened up to People magazine for this week's cover story about her experience with a common ailment that afflicts many new mothers — postpartum depresssion.

With two young daughters, Olive, three, and Frankie, 18 months, and a husband, art consultant Will Kopelman, 38, Barrymore says her life is “perfect and totally imperfect.”

But like many new mothers, Barrymore says that after the birth of Frankie, she just didn't feel quite right.

“I didn’t have postpartum the first time so I didn’t understand it because I was like, ‘I feel great!’ The second time, I was like, ‘Oh, whoa, I see what people talk about now. I understand,’” Barrymore recollected. “It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud.”

Drew says with a plethora of projects in the works, including her new memoir, Wildflower, which hits shelves Oct. 27 and her next film, Miss You Already, which hits theaters next month, the 40-year-old actress felt pulled in every direction.

“I just got right on the idea of, where do I need to be the most? Fifty-fifty would be ideal but life doesn’t work like that. Life is messy,” said Barrymore. “It was just really challenging and I felt overwhelmed. I made a lot of decisions and I definitely changed my work life to suit my parenthood.”

Barrymore was one of the lucky ones because her bout with depression was “short-lived, probably six months," and the actress says she is grateful for the experience, which taught her to always remain present in the moment.

“It’s really important. I was in the kids’ class with Frankie and Olive this morning and I started fretting about some piece of work news that was just stressful,” she said. “You know, in like the Broadway Babies class and it’s the one-hit wonders day, and they’re singing I don’t even know what song, and we’re all doing our lollipop drums and I just thought, ‘Save it until after class.’ One thing at a time.”

The actress told People that it’s important that her daughters see her hard work as a good thing.

“Putting a negative stigma on work is a go-to. It makes us feel like it proves to our children that we don’t want to work, we’d rather be with you,” Drew Barrymore said. “I want them to see that work can be a good, positive, fun, happy thing. I’ve worked since I was 11½ months old so I have to be able to work, too. But I have to put them first. I don’t know if it’s good enough for anyone but I’m doing my best.”

Pam Wright